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How to Come Out to Your Parents

scrabble board with "Dear Mom"One of my friends recently told his parents that he is gay and has been in a same-sex relationship for the past year. His parents are very conservative and were less than thrilled to learn this information about their son. At first, there was a big fight and my friend stormed out of his parents house. However, he recently had another discussion with his family and things went much more smoothly.

Coming out to family and friends is a really important step for homosexuals, but it can also be very difficult. Things usually go one of two ways: your friends and family react positively and accept you, or they react the way my friend’s parents did. Of course you hope that the important people in your life will accept you, no matter what, but that is not always the case. However, there are some steps teens and young adults can take to ensuring that when they do come out to their parents, it will go smoothly and not end up causing World War III.

1. Pick a good time. It’s not a good idea to come out to your friends or family when either you or they are stressed, frustrated, or upset about something else. For example, you should never come out during an argument or in order to hurt the person you are telling. Instead, wait for a time when you can sit down together and calmly discuss the matter. You might even want to tell them ahead of time that you have something important that you need to tell them and ask that they prepare themselves for the conversation.

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University of Iowa Plans to Establish First Gay Fraternity on Campus

university of iowa logoThe University of Iowa has been working hard to establish a progressive attitude on its campus towards gays and it seems only logical that one step in the process would be to create a gay fraternity. So, that’s exactly what the school is considering doing.

“Current Greeks have talked about it and supportive,” said Kelly Jo Karnes, associate director of the university’s Center for Student Involvement & Leadership. “We have been feeling out other students who might be interested, and they have been really excited about the idea.”

Although the fraternity will not have a house on campus, it will serve as a way for gays on campus to get to know each other and form friendships in a niche community.

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Minnesota Schools are Investigated After Seven Students Commit Suicide

A public school district in Minnesota is being investigated by federal authorities due to “allegations of harassment and discrimination in the Anoka-Hennepin School District based on sex, including peer-on-peer harassment based on not conforming to gender stereotypes.” This investigation will delve into a serious issue that is facing many students today: bullying. Specifically, it came about after seven students from this school district committed suicide in less than two years after they were possibly bullied about their sexual orientation.

In 2009, the Anoka-Hennepin adopted a controversial policy that says the staff must “remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation” because “such matters are best addressed within individual family homes, churches or community organizations.” Supporters of the investigation claim that this policy prevents teachers from stopping bullies from attacking students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or have another form of sexual identity.

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Yale and Columbia Reinstate the Navy R.O.T.C. Program

For decades, there has not been any type of military presence on Yale University‘s campus. R.O.T.C programs across the country were kicked off college campuses during the Vietnam War, when students protested against the war. However, more recently, these programs have been kept off campuses at many schools due, in a large part, to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuality, which many students disapproved of. This policy was recently overturned, and now, Yale officials have signed an agreement with the Navy to reinstate a R.O.T.C program at the school, starting in the Fall 2012 semester.

The idea to reinstate a R.O.T.C program began last fall, when a student survey found that a majority of Yale students were in favor of renewing the relationship between the Navy R.O.T.C program and the school. A vote by Yale’s faculty in early May sealed the deal, allowing R.O.T.C to become a part of campus life again.

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Lesbian Cadet Rejected for Readmission to West Point

Cadet Katherine Miller

Cadet Katherine Miller

A lesbian cadet resigned last year from West Point due to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a law that bans openly gay soldiers from serving in the military. Katherine Miller, 21, who ranked ninth in her class, applied again to the military school, but sadly, even after the law was repealed, was denied readmission.

“While the don’t ask, don’t tell policy was recently changed and will be repealed, the effective date has not yet been determined,” Lt. Col. Sherri Reed, the academy’s director of public affairs, said in a statement. “Due to this situation, West Point is unable to offer her readmission at this time.”

Though Miller’s admission is currently being denied, Reed said that she will be able to be readmitted, but it will take some time.

“While at the academy Ms. Miller remained in good standing and had done exceptionally well academically, militarily and physically,” she said. “The choice to seek readmission is available to her once the repeal process is completed.”

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Hope College Accepts Gay Students, but Not Gay Groups

Hope College is a private school that is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. The school prides itself on its religious heritage and has had a long-stranding opposition to homosexuality. However, on February 1, 2011, the school announced plans to lift its ban on the study and discussion of homosexuality. Hope College will still not support any groups that support gay rights and issues.

The change of policy came about because of pressure from Hope alumni. The alumni asked the school to reconsider the original policy, which did not condone homosexual acts nor would it provide financial support for homosexual groups or groups that support homosexual acts.

The alumni decided to take action when Hope administrators refused to allow Dustin Lance Black, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, to show his film “Milk” on campus because the main character is gay man. The alumni created a group called “Hope is Ready,” which is “dedicated to full inclusion and open dialogue on Hope’s campus.”

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Lesbian Couple Overcomes Obstacles to Walk in School Assembly

It’s the Snow Days Pep Fest at Champlin Park High School, located in a suburb of Minneapolis. The energy levels are sky-high and everyone is excited to see which couple of the royalty court will be crowned. One of the couples in particular is highly excited about being named as royalty. Their names: Sarah Lindstrom and Desiree Shelton.

The lesbian couple were celebrating a victory as they walked into the pep rally. Earlier that week, a school policy had been changed in order to prevent them from walking into the assembly together, as a couple. Instead, all court members would be required to walk into the assembly alone or with a parent or favorite teacher.

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Gay Pride Flag Burned at Michigan College

gay flagThe President of Albion College, Donna Randall, has condemned students involved in burning a gay pride rainbow flag. The burning followed  the college’s Coming Out Week. Albion is a private Michigan college that is associated with the Methodist Church and has about 1,800 full-time students.

The Huffington Post reports that Randall released a statement saying the school “has taken the situation very seriously” and “condemns harassment of any member” of its community. The statement further said the behavior is reprehensible and that appropriate action would be taken in response.

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Joel Burns Offers Words of Hope for GLBT Teens

joel burnsOctober 11 was National Coming Out Day, a day meant to provide support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.

Unfortunately, even this national movement for acceptance has not been preventing the suicides of many teens who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation.

According to The Huffington Post, approximately 90 percent of GLBT students were physically or verbally abused in 2009. This intense bullying is what led Asher Brown, 13, Bill Lucas, 15, Seth Walsh, 13, Tyler Clemenit, 18, and Zach Harrington, 19, to commit suicide. Gay teens are four times more likely than straight teens to attempt suicide, mainly because they do not feel accepted by their peers.

Joel Burns is an openly gay city councilman in Fort Worth, TX. At a city council meeting on October 12, 2010, Burns reached out to GLBT students around the world. Listen to his message of hope for all students who are being bullied. Read the rest of this entry »



Students Break the World Record for the Longest Kiss

guinness recordsYou know the feeling: your heart beats faster, your knees get weak, and it is absolutely fantastic. I’m talking about one of those really long, passionate kisses. However, when I say “really long,” I’m talking about maybe a few minutes. I don’t mean a kiss that lasts for 32 hours, 30 minutes and 45 seconds. But that is exactly what Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello did.

Daley and Canciello are both students at the College of New Jersey. The two started their kissing fest at 11:32 a.m. and maintained their kiss for as long as they could stand. When they finally broke their kiss, they had destroyed the previous Guinness World Record for the longest kiss by 23 minutes.  The two boys will also hold the record for the longest same-sex kiss. More than 330,000 people watched the kiss through a live web stream of the event.

Daley and Canciello are gay; however, they are not in a relationship. Their motivation for their kiss was to raise gay-awareness.

“I just hope we can encourage people not to be afraid,” said Canciello about his motivation to raise awareness by kissing. “Love is universal no matter who you are.” Read the rest of this entry »





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